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Are pigs, grass and flowers our cousins? Are pigs, grass and flowers our cousins?
by Joseph Gatt
2019-06-25 07:46:22
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Scientists can deny being influenced by the Bible all they want, some might even claim they're Atheists. Some scientists might even write a book or two claiming that religion has no science to back it up.

Those very same scientists are in fact very much influenced by the Bible, without knowing it. Christians say there's the story of creation. If you go to a Jewish Yeshiva, you will learn that the Bible has two stories of creation. The first story of creation is one where God creates the world in 6 days and rests on the 7th. The second is one where God creates Adam and Eve.

pig01_400If Chinese scientists had speculated about the origins of life and the universe, they would have claimed that a giant star gave birth to several stars which gave birth to several stars and so on. Hindus would have speculated that stars evolve in cycles and that there was a first cycle of stars that were born and died out and a new batch or stars were born and died out and yet another one and so on.

But most influential astrophysicists were raised Christian or Jewish. These astrophysicists claim that the universe originated in the Big Bang, and despite most people not seeing the connection, the Big Bang theory closely resembles the first creation theory in the Bible. In the Bible God creates the heavens and the seas and the animals and the plants, in the Big Bang theory a giant explosion leads to the creation of the universe. If you ask physicists how long the Big Bang explosion lasted, they will probably say something like 6 days. And on the seventh, God rested, I would add.

My creation story would be one where there's a birth of a star here, then of a star there, of several stars here, of several stars there. Stars die, cool down and become rocks, fade into black holes, and over gazillions of light years, we get the universe as it is. Perhaps there were several gigantic big bang-like explosions in the process, a big bang here, a big bang there, but probably no single big bang. As for the general unified theory Einstein wanted so much, given the vastness of the universe, we will probably never find a convincing one. At least I won't be convinced.

Now Richard Dawkins and many others claim that all living beings on Earth are probably cousins. That is we can all be traced back to a single cell. Now Dawkins, author of the God delusion, a hater of Christianity, gets his idea from the Adam and Eve story of all stories. That is that we are all the children of Adam and Eve. Now when Jews go to the Yeshiva they tend to learn that Adam means Earth in Hebrew and that Eve means air in Hebrew and that we are all descendants of Earth and Air.

The likelihood of us all being the descendants of a single cell does not convince me. When I was a teacher in Korea, I rented a place. The only time I actually had my own abode. In Korea, the June to September season is very, very rainy, and it can rain non-stop for five, six, seven consecutive days. My landlord sent me a text message early June, begging me to check the walls on a regular basis, including walls being covered by the fridge, by the closet and by other furniture, and to report to him if I notice fungi. Fortunately there were no fungi.

So fungi don't originate from a single fungus, fungi spring up everywhere, fed by water and dirt. Like fungi, the first cells probably started springing here, there, everywhere. Cells then grew, evolved, competed with each other, ate each other, starved, while others thrived. Some cells became to evolve as grass, others as pigs, others as flowers and so on.

Now one thing for sure in evolution on Earth is that big animals tend not to survive very well, nor do big plants. Dinosaurs needed a decent amount of food and died out in the face of drought. Their cousins, the lizards, the iguanas, the chameleons, survived thanks to their small size, requiring less food.

Now there are Christian organizations that promise thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars to those who can prove that evolution exists. Most, if not all scientists tend to be taken aback because they tend to look for historical examples and tend to go to fossils and archeology for evidence.

Now a chimp can't give birth to a human, that's for sure. But, there are living thriving current examples of evolution happening right under your nose somewhere. Some species of plants are evolving under our very eyes, new species of plants are born every day. If you look at animals carefully enough, you will notice fleas, insects, or fish evolve, grow longer or shorter tails, longer or shorter wings, and over a couple dozen years you will have a new species of insect, one that did not exist twenty years ago.

The rule for animals is, the smaller the animal the faster they tend to evolve. For us humans, or for birds, horses, and monkeys and so on, our reproduction cycles tend to be longer. In the case of humans, a new generation arises every twenty years or so. For most animals it goes anywhere from three years to twenty or thirty years. Insects evolve faster because for some of them the reproduction cycle is 24 hours, and for some others it's about a week. So you have a new generation of insects every week.

How many generations do you need to get a new species? I'd say, randomly, about a hundred generations. But evolution is gradual rather than sudden, that is it's not the one hundredth generation that will give birth to a super human. It's more like a new type of human will gradually evolve, and a couple of thousands of years from now, we could be shocked by how we've evolved. One hypothesis is our descendants will be beasts, brainless beasts who can't even talk, and I'll have wasted my time writing the article. Another possibility is we could be a lot taller, bigger, we could have smaller heads, we could lose our ability to run a lap in 60 seconds, or we could run a lap in 30 seconds, and not just the Michael Johnsons and Usain Bolts. As for now, we'll focus on the next generation rather than 100 generations from now. Or we could also have a dozen different species of human beings, and there are more stories that I'll save for another day.  

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